10. We have exchanged pleasing the Savior for compliments from the people.
The problem is our egos. We do like to be popular.
How did the Apostle Paul put it to young Pastor Timothy? For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. (II Tim. 4:3-4)
It’s not clear from the Greek text, however, whether it’s the congregation with the itching ears or the preachers. I suspect one is as bad as the other.
We have raised a generation of self-absorbed members who are preached to and ministered to by self-absorbed preachers.
Sorry to be so negative. It’s no fun, I’ll tell you. Perhaps that’s one more way we fail: we want to be positive because it’s easier, more fun to do, and more pleasant to receive.
Medical doctors would love to deliver nothing but good news. But in a real world, that’s not possible.
When you entered the ministry, young pastor, you did not win a final battle with the world and its ways. You merely armored up for that fight. The struggle goes on all your days. Only at last when the Father calls your name and you step across that final line, only then will the warfare with the world and its standards, its seduction, and its promises, finally end.
Until then, with your eyes on the Savior, your face in the Book, your heart pure from all that would pollute it, and your love for the people of God constant, keep telling yourself, “One more day. I will be faithful this day.”
And on some of those days, God will do amazing things. But He will not tell you in advance which days they are.